Breastfeeding, the key to good health of mothers and babies, also has benefits for families, employers, and the community in general. For these reasons, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut WIC Program and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend feeding your baby only breast milk until age 6 months, and breast milk plus solid food from 6-12 months and beyond.
We are here to support you, During your pregnancy and after your baby is born!
Breastfeeding cannot be matched by any other form of feeding. The benefits of breastfeeding begin in those special moments after birth and last for many years. Breastfeeding is good for you, too. Breastfeeding may help you lose the pregnancy weight after your child is born. Breastfeeding may also reduce your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer later in life. At WIC we have many ways to support your decision to breastfeed your baby.
We'll help you Make A Plan.
Planning ahead can make it easier. While you are pregnant, WIC nutrition staff can answer questions you may have about breastfeeding. We can also work with you to plan for your hospital stay. Studies show that having your baby close to you after giving birth called skin-to-skin contact can help with breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about your plans to breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after birth.
Check out the Ready, Set, Baby webpage HERE for more information on preparing for breastfeeding. This site is available in Spanish and Arabic. There are options on the home page for these languages.
You may also want to visit the USDA Breastfeeding Support webpage HERE. Click "Stages" at the top of the page to find out more about the different phases of your breastfeeding journey: Learn, Start, Overcome and Thrive.
Once your baby is here we want to hear from you.
WIC also has trained staff to work with moms when they return from the hospital. Please reach out to us. We want to hear from you. If you have questions or concerns about how breastfeeding is going, call your local WIC program. We want to help make breastfeeding successful, and often times we find all moms need is a little bit of encouragement. When additional help is needed, we can connect you with your health care provider for other options.
Working and Breastfeeding
The WIC program provides breast pumps to participants who need to be separated from their babies if their current insurance doesn't cover a breast pump or there is another barrier in receiving a pump. If you are going back to work or school, let your WIC nutritionist know so that, together, you can plan to make your return to work easier. This includes sample letters to an employer or if you qualify, providing a breast pump through WIC or through your insurance. In Connecticut, we have laws to protect your right to pump or feed your baby while at work.
WIC Peer Counseling Program
How you will feed your baby is one of the most important choices you will make as a parent. Today, more and more mothers are choosing to breastfeed. Some women look forward to the chance to breastfeed. Others may be unsure how breastfeeding will fit into their life. Still others may worry how to start and continue to breastfeed.
All of these questions and feelings are normal.
Breast milk is not only good for your baby but breastfeeding can be a great part of being a parent!
At WIC we know it helps if new moms talk with other moms who have had the same worries and questions about feeding their babies. At WIC we have specially trained moms, who breastfed their babies, are on WIC or were on WIC, and that help new moms with breastfeeding. We call them breastfeeding peer counselors. WIC peer counselors can call and speak to you on the phone, text you, schedule a virtual visit via FaceTime, WebEx, or TEAMS. Peer Counselors can also see you in-person at your local agency.
If interested, we can refer you to a peer counselor who:
* talks to you during your pregnancy about breastfeeding
* helps you get off to a good start with breastfeeding
* shares tips on how to breastfeed comfortably
* gives encouragement to help you have a great breastmilk supply
* shares ideas on how to keep breastfeeding even after you return to work or school
* assists you to meet your breastfeeding goals (over the phone, text, video chat or in the office)
We have peer counselors available at these local agencies:
Day Kimball Hospital
Optimus Health Care Inc, WIC Programs
Bridgeport Barnum Ave
Bridgeport Southwest Community Health Center- Fairfield Avenue
East Hartford WIC Program
Hartford WIC Program
Burgdorf Health Center
Meriden WIC Program
City of Meriden
New Haven WIC Program
Fair Haven Community Health Center
Yale New Haven Hospital-Sargent Drive
Yale New Haven Hospital- St. Raphael Campus
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center
T.V.C.C.A. WIC Program
Waterbury WIC Program
(offered by Breastfeeding Heritage and Pride-Hispanic Health Council)
Each year the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) announce the WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence. The award program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. In Connecticut, all Peer Counseling programs that have been eligible to apply have received and hold this recognition.